Latin America Presente at Chicago International Film Fest

06/10/2010 at 5:10 pm Leave a comment

One of North America’s oldest film events will once again take over the AMC River East theaters for its annual celebration of the best and brightest in World Cinema: a staggering 122 feature films, seven short film showcases, seven panels and three tributes to actor Forest Whitaker, filmmaker and novelist Guillermo Del Toro and producer Paula Wagner.
Some of the festival’s highlights have already made the rounds of the most important film festivals and will soon land at a multiplex or indie house near you: Darren Aronofsky’s “Black Swan,” John Wells’ “The Company Men,” Julie Taymor’s “The Tempest,” and Stephen Frears’ “Tamara Drewe,” for example. Other films, like the ones showcased in the “Cinema of the Americas” program, may never reach our theaters.
Latin America is represented by 14 films from Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Cuba and a co-production between Costa Rica and Colombia. The selection features some familiar names for the lovers of Latin American cinema: Argentineans Pablo Trapero, Alejandro Chomski and Daniel Burman (with “Carancho,” “Asleep in the Sun” and “Brother and Sister,” respectively) and Cuban filmmaker Daniel Diaz-Torres (“Lisanka”).

“One of the foundations of the festival is our New Directors competition. The festival has always placed an emphasis on new discoveries, nurturing the work of first and second time directors. It’s always a pleasure to bring the filmmakers back to Chicago to see the ways in which their work has developed over their careers. They are still creating work that deserves and calls to be seen,” explained Mimi Plauche, the festival’s programming director. “But there is also a particular pleasure in having the work of festival alums come to the festival.”

The program will also present Fabio Barreto’s “Lula, o Filho de Brasil”, Brazil’s official entry for the Academy Award’s Best Foreign Language Film and “Revolución,” an anthology of 10 short films commemorating the Mexican Revolution’s centennial. Gael García Bernal, Diego Luna, Carlos Reygadas, Patricia Riggen and Amat Escalante are some of the directors participating in the anthology.
“Each director was called to interpret the idea of revolution in some way,” said Plauche. “Some of them are historically specific, others are a reflection of what the revolution means for contemporary Mexico.”

The festival will honor Del Toro with the Visionary Award and will also present his most personal film, “The Devil’s Backbone,” followed by a discussion. The tribute comes at a time of heightened activity for the Mexican filmmaker: “The Fall,” volume two of his and Chuck Hogan’s “The Strain Trilogy,” hit the bookstores last month, Criterion will release in December a re-mastered edition of his first film “Cronos” (it will also be released on Blu-Ray) and Del Toro recently signed a deal with Dreamworks Animation to consult on their films and direct one of his own, “Trollhunters.”

“His presence on the international stage has grown and his films reach an audience that goes beyond the typical genre films,” said Plauche. “We really wanted to pay tribute to both his creative genius and his international presence.”
The “Cinema of the Americas” program will also showcase a home-grown product: 

Carmen Marron’s “Go For It,” a film entirely shot in Chicago by Carmen Marron starring local actors like Aimee Garcia (who has appeared in series like “CSI: Miami” and “The George Lopez Show”)

WHEN: Ends Oct. 21
WHERE: River East, 322 E. Illinois St., Chicago
ADMISSION: $13; Matinees (before 5 p.m. Monday-Friday), $5. Special presentations: $15
Source: Cafe Media

Entry filed under: CHICAGO LATINO FILM FEST, FILM FESTIVALS. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

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